WAR WITHIN – MAKING PEACE
As a young woman in my late twenties, I was emotionally dependent on my partner. His love and appreciation were my source of validation. Since I didn’t know then how to validate myself, I ended up burdening him with overflowing needs, expectations, and demands. Needless to say, it created major conflicts between us, as well as a good amount of inner torment for me. It was at that point that I realized I needed to learn to give myself the love and acknowledgment I longed for. I started that chapter of my transformation by going to counseling and making a promise to myself to find a loving voice within that would be a source of comfort to me as opposed to handing that responsibility to my partner.
As I turned my eyes within, I began to tap into my Expanded Self. I did not have a name for it then, but I felt a powerful love source guiding and comforting. It was a faint connection in the beginning, which grew stronger and stronger over time. Slowly, I allowed myself to feel the deep pain and terror residing in my Emotional Self. I felt safer because I was not alone; there was that presence that was me, yet so much more than me. It felt like it was holding and guiding me, emotionally speaking. Out of that loving exchange/dialogue, a healing took place. I found my inner home... Inner strength and peace slowly tiptoed into my soul.
My Defensive Self, which was used to protecting me by presenting an “I don’t need anybody or anything” façade, was fighting the transformation and resisting it every step of the way. Becoming vulnerable, emotional, and expressive was very threatening to the Defensive part of me. My Expanded Self needed to work hard to soften this resistance. It needed to address my Defensive Self with compassion and gentle guidance—the kind of tough love that is needed with a frightened, rebellious kid. The more I allowed myself to feel, and the more I trusted the loving guidance of my Expanded Self, the softer my Defensive Self became, slowly releasing the hard grip on my emotions and energy.
Learn to identify the inner voice for each one of the three aspects. Choose a recent incident from your life that provoked intense feelings. Sit down and prepare three separate pieces of paper; on top of each one write the name of one of the aspects. On the first page, write “My Emotional Self.” On the second page, write “My Defensive Self.” And on the third page, write “My Expanded Self.”